April update: Violence against journalists continues

April is shaping up to be a bad month for journalists in Mexico. Continue reading

Brad Will’s parents announce indy investigation into journo’s death

The one-year anniversary of the death of Brad Will will be marked today in New York, Oaxaca and no doubt other places around the world.Kathy and Hardy Will, parents of the Indymedia journalist Brad Will who was shot dead in Oaxaca more than a year ago, have branded the Mexican investigation into the journalist’s death “frustrating and disappointing” for its failure to find those responsible.

Will was shot dead by plain-clothed armed men on October 27th 2006 whilst covering the social disturbances in Oaxaca surrounding a teacher’s strike. The killing brought the death-toll of journalists in Mexico in 2006 to nine – the county is experiencing increasingly high levels of violence against journalists. It was purported to be the second most dangerous place to work in the world as a journalist after Iraq in 2006.

An investigation at the end of last year by the Attorney General on the case suggested that Will had been shot at close range. But Kathy and Hardy Will dismissed those findings as “illogical and irrational” and have announced that the American non-governmental organisation Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) will conduct an independent investigation. Continue reading

Video: the shooting of Brad Will

It occurred to me that many of you may as yet have not seen the last few minutes of the life of journalist Brad Will – he taped his own shooting. It is strong stuff: be warned. This is a link to the video on YouTube.

Oaxaca Reporters Tell of Life in the Trenches

‘Alternative media’ in Oaxaca, Mexico, means graffiti, not the internet. Nancy Davies comments on the latest meeting of Oaxacan journalists this weekend on NarcoNews.com. Many issues were discussed, including the lack of unity amongst journalists and the increasing violence against the profession.

Local expats unhappy over Oaxaca story

This is an exact copy of the story published in the News today that originated from yesterday’s blog post, which you can read here. This version includes comments from the author of the Washington Post article in question. The News does not yet have a website. You can see reader comments on the initial post, linked above. Continue reading

Washington Post article on Oaxaca gets a beating

An article published in this weekend’s Washington Post, called “Oaxaca: One Year Later”, has prompted heavy criticism from people living in the southern Mexican state which this time last year was the scene of huge civil unrest and what one critic describes as ‘some of the worst human rights abuses in recent Mexican history; detaining, torturing, and raping men, women, and children who had taken to the streets demanding social and economic justice.’ (Please see comments below for a response from the author).

The writer takes the reader to a number of local restaurants and businesses in Oaxaca, whilst attempting to trace the events of last year, which culminated in the deaths of reportedly as many as 23 people.

But a local film-maker and others living in the city today have attacked the article for its lack of insight into the problems that ravaged Oaxaca tweleve months ago, in which IndyMedia journalist Brad Will was killed, as well as a local teacher and an unconfirmed number of other people. Continue reading

Press Freedom Report Paints Grim Picture for Latin America

Journalists in Latin America continue to be the victims of murders, threats and harassment when investigating sensitive subjects such as corruption and drug trafficking, according to the latest report from the World Association of Newspapers, and media in Mexico remains a target of violent attacks.

The report mentions the three media workers shot dead in Oaxaca in October, which it says were probably a reprisal by drug traffickers for their newspaper’s coverage El Imparcial of organized crime, but doesn’t mention the murders of Amado Ramírez, of Televisa, in Acapulco on 6 April this year and of Saúl Martínez Ortega, of the magazine Interdiario and the daily Cambio de Sonora, on 23 April, which were noted by Reporters Without Borders.

Three journalists have been killed in Columbia this year, and one in each of the following countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Paraguay.

According to the organization, the number of journalists killed in 2007 is approaching the record 110 deaths last year.